Catch the classic New Zealand wine trail safari through this bountiful, sun-drenched region.

Hawke’s Bay has over 40 vineyards and is second to Marlborough in terms of total grape production. This region has long been a consistent winner of top quality wine trophies in all parts of the world.

The summer and autumn periods are usually dry and the soils are silty loams and shingles. The huge variation in soil types is a factor in the wide diversity of wine styles produced here. Differences in soil, terrain and mini-climates can mean that ripening dates for each grape variety can vary by several weeks. Hawke’s Bay is a prime region for fine wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Pinot Noir.

To set out on a wine trail in this complex region, it is helpful to know the sub-regions in advance. Napier has several vineyards in the cooler, maritime climate area of Bay View, and others in the sheltered Esk Valley. Hastings has a cluster of vineyards in warm sheltered inland areas. Havelock North has north-facing, protected slopes under the landmark icon, Te Mata Peak. These wineries are all perennial award winners. Taradale is the hallowed home to New Zealand’s oldest commercial winemakers. The Heretaunga Plain area is expanding rapidly, taking advantage of higher inland temperatures.

The Hawke’s Bay region is a perfect touring destination, famous for its sunshine, wines and fine foods. During your visit be sure to sample the seafood, lamb, venison, cherries, strawberries and avocados. This bounty is celebrated each February at ‘The Hawke’s Bay Harvest Festival’.

The twin cities of Napier and Hastings are art deco architectural ‘shrines’ and are well worth a visit.

Wine lovers will enjoy Hawke’s Bay for it’s elegant, sophisticated ‘limited edition’ wines, gourmet food, cheese rooms, culinary schools and wine museums – its a wine traveller’s paradise.